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Jul 7, 2020 - 5:54:19 AM
130 posts since 3/19/2018

Working on a few necks and put a truss rod in one (heel access, 18" rod reaching to about the 2nd fret). I put my neck in a vice after shaping it and turned the truss rod; then, using a straight edge I couldn't measure a neck adjustment. The truss rod is tightly fit in the channel, it's a StewMac hot rod, and it definitely worked before I put it in there. I kept the channel clear of glue, and the nut definitely turns both CW and CCW. Do you need to have string tension on the neck before making an adjustment to really see the effect? I've always adjusted truss rods with strings on the neck. Thanks in advance.

Edited by - QuailCreekBanjos on 07/07/2020 06:33:35

Jul 7, 2020 - 9:07:33 AM
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1153 posts since 8/7/2017

Perhaps the vice plus the tight fitting rod meant that the rod could not actually be tightened. Or that all the tension was absorbed by the vice-pinched portion. If the rod is not free to transmit the tension you applied all along the neck, then the "tight spots" will absorb all tension. Just a guess, I'm not a banjo builder. Think of a bell with a piece of rope to move the clapper: if the rope is pinched in the vice, no matter how hard you pull on the rope, the bell clapper at the end won't feel it.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 07/07/2020 09:09:25

Jul 7, 2020 - 11:26:21 AM

2896 posts since 2/18/2009

I run my truss rods all the way to the nut end of the fretboard, but not under the nut. The part of the rod that is in the heel doesn't do anything anyway, the heel is too stiff to bend. If the adjustment barrel is an inch or two inside the neck that is okay, as an Allen wrench is long enough to reach in to it. I adjust them while holding the neck in one hand, and then sight along the neck to check for straightness, or if in doubt I use a metal ruler that is straight. You should be able to easily detect the change in relief made by the truss rod, if you're turning the rod far enough to actually bend the neck.

Jul 7, 2020 - 12:16:59 PM
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130 posts since 3/19/2018

Thanks folks. Not sure what the issue was, but I laid the neck fretboard-down on a flat surface, made sure it was flat, then adjusted the truss rod, and i did see some adjustment. The vice may have been a culprit... but I also suspect my straight edge ain't all that straight. In any case, thank you!

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